BSHS in Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproductive Technology

What is Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproductive Technology?

Clinical embryologists are trained medical laboratory professionals who specialize in helping infertility case treatment via the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and assisted reproductive technology (ART). Nationally there is a critical shortage of experienced clinical embryologists due to the lack of educational training programs in the United States as well as an increased need for IVF and ART across the country. As a result, the job demand in this field is high.

The CEART program explores the latest in clinical embryology. Over the duration of the program, students will develop a foundational understanding of health sciences and further explore the interconnected sciences of endocrinology, cryobiology, and andrology. 


The George Washington University’s (GW) Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences in Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproductive Technology (CEART) program provides a blend of online didactic courses with on-campus laboratory courses. The lab courses are held at our Ashburn, VA campus and may be completed in one semester. Students in this program will need to reside within commuting distance to Ashburn, VA or temporarily relocate for at least one semester to complete the lab courses. This program is for you if you’re looking to:

  • Complete your bachelor’s degree in an in-demand field.
  • Specialize in fertility laboratory science.
  • Pursue a viable career path in addition to a degree.

In a field typically offered only at the master’s level, you’ll need to be independent, organized, and able to manage your time effectively.


Career Outlook

When you graduate from this program, you’re prepared to work as a laboratory scientist in:

  • Assisted reproduction technology laboratories and fertility clinic laboratories.
  • Biotechnology companies.
  • Research institutes.

Assisted Reproductive Technology/In-vitro Fertilization Technologists earn between $40,000 and $83,500 a year, based on experience, location, and certifications.

Program Highlights

  • GW has the only bachelor’s-level ART program in the country.
  • Learn from experienced laboratory scientists who are experts in their field.
  • Complete a professional program at an accredited, prestigious university that can give you not only a degree, but a career.
  • Become eligible to take several board certification examinations in the areas of embryology and andrology.
  • Excellent foundation for those wishing to progress to advanced degrees or health professions, such as medicine.
  • Rolling admissions Fall, Spring, and Summer.

Accreditation & Rankings

  • Fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • #62 Best National University*
  • #15 Best Online Bachelor's Programs*
  • #8 for Best Online Programs for Veterans*

* U.S. News & World Report's 2022 Rankings 

Meet the Program Director

Marcia A. Firmani, Ph.D., MSPH, MT(ASCP)MBCM

Chair of the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, Director of the MSHS in Clinical Microbiology program, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine.

Dr. Marcia Firmani has more than 20 years of experience in teaching and research. In addition to her administrative duties, Dr. Firmani both directs and teaches several courses within the BLS department, including Clinical Bacteriology, Molecular Diagnostic Sciences, Molecular Epidemiology, and Plagues, Pandemics & Epidemics. She also mentors undergraduate and graduate research projects and has published peer-reviewed articles with students.

Prior to her arrival at The George Washington University, Dr. Firmani was a principal investigator at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), where she conducted and managed several research projects involving biothreat agent characterization. Dr. Firmani also held two previous faculty appointments.

From 2002–2007 she was an assistant professor in the CLS department at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans. She taught lecture and laboratory courses and directed a research lab where she performed basic and applied research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and MRSA and mentored master’s student thesis projects.

From 2007–2010, Dr. Firmani was an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UWM) where she taught various undergraduate CLS courses and graduate-level Biomedical Sciences courses. She also directed a research laboratory where she conducted NIH-funded research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and mentored both undergraduate and graduate student research projects.

Dr. Firmani has taught numerous continuing education courses in the laboratory science field, including a DVD for the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) on emerging infections. She has authored several chapters focusing on infectious diseases in textbooks and has also published her research in peer-reviewed journals, such as Infection and Immunity, and the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.